Posts Tagged ‘Funeral Doom’

Vofa - Vofa

Vofa is the work of Icelandic musicians that have contributed to the underground scene there throughout many genres; black metal, hardcore, death metal, electronica, and this is their exploration of the bleaker side of life. This is funeral doom soundscapes at their most evocative, and is out now through Funere Records.

Split into three tracks, ‘Vofa’ is an encapsulation of the grim cold of their homeland. ‘I’ builds with evocative clean guitar; glacial melodies weaving within a deep gloom before distortion and a titanic growl appears to shatter the illusion. There is a little bit of a trad doom swagger that starts to appear towards the end of the first track, which is unusual in proper funereal doom, but I like it. There is a wretched misery about each track, ‘II’ oozes from your speakers like a malignant growth ready to swallow the ground you walk on. The vocal interplay here between a raspy growl and mournful clean vocals is excellent, and it brings a much heavier crunch to it. ‘III’ brings forth a sludgey doom to it, giving us a nihilistic swampy feel to it.

‘Vofa’ is an album that paints with a dark palette; shrouding guitar in weeping mist and then building a deep heaviness to the fore by the end. An intoxicating mix of glacial calm and soul crushing brutality that should appeal to most. Rumbling magnificence.

Reido - Anātman

Funeral doom from Belarus sounds like something ripe for this cold, bleak time of year and Reido’s ‘Anatman’ is the third record from this band over thirteen years, and thier first in eight. Not prolific, but when you have this type of statement to make, you don’t need to do it quickly. It is out now through Aesthetic Death.

The creepy soundscapes of ‘Deathwave’ build slowly into the ancient crush of ‘The Serpent’s Mission’, a sprawling slow motion dredge of the earth’s darkest and most miserable locales. Churning guitar rumbles under imperious growls, while the moments of tranquility are as oppressive as the heavier parts. ‘Dirt Fills My Mouth’ is like Electric Wizard with all the hazy drugs stripped away; clean, clear and with singular intent. Staggering centrepiece ‘Liminal’ stretches into unfathomable distance, a dry cracked wasteland inhabited by the guttural howl of the wind and the crash of the riff that really feels like a Tom G Warrior guitar tone. After the industrial hum of the title track, ‘Vast Emptiness, No Holiness’ brings us crashing to a earth shuddering end.

‘Anatman’ is a vast dirge of a record, naked and barren of feeling. Yet the simplicity of the riff is the greatest strength Reido possess. With guitarwork hewn from granite, this behemoth looms unbidden from the darkness laying waste to those before it. The riffs are massive, the tension palpable at points and the melancholic melodies enhancing the brutality. Awesome.

Sektarism - Fils de Dieu

Funeral doom from the darkest and most miserable orthodoxy of France, Sektarism have returned with their third opus, ‘Fils de Dieu’, out now through End All Life Productions and distributed by NoEvDia. Two tracks, forty five minutes of crushing, soul draining experiences that leaves you an enlightened husk, a shattered soul in a world of death.

‘Oderunt Dum Metuant’ opens with a solitary beat, quietly building as groans and chants begin to haunt the music. Like a dissonant religious ritual, the intensity of the screams grows as cymbals and gongs appear. The tension this is creating is unbearable; it feels like when the crescendo comes, the world is going to collapse. This isn’t a ten minute intro, this is the preparation for the ceremony ahead. You’ve been anointed with the unholy oils, prepare to meet your doom. ‘Sacrifice’ is indescribable. First of all, destroy your perceptions of what makes a ‘doom’ record. There are no massive chugging riffs here, stench of weed or galloping axe wielding battles. This is doom as it is in the most primal; inexorable fear of death, torturous glimpses of the unknown. The guitar work shimmers in feedback, teasing you with moments of recognisable heavy metal before going back to draining your life force.

They say good music can feel like a religious experience. This album is what you’ll hear when Jesus comes back and you discover everything was a lie and the eternal void is all that waits for us. His bloodied hands, leading us into our death and disintegration from existence. Nothing matters. Except maybe buying this album. You’ll need to get ready for the end…

The tortured groanings of the new Pissboiler record, ‘Att med kniv ta en kristens liv’, is a gruesome, funeral doom retelling of a real life murder in three parts. This EP also contains a 26 minute bonus track, so Third I Rex, Weird Truth Productions and Dying Sun Records are definitely giving you your money’s worth on this collaboration release.

The cold open of ‘En visa för elden’ plays with sinister yet gorgeous pastoral acoustics, before a rumbling and droning fuzz really raises the ominous level. The grinding misery of the title track definitely brings to life the dark and soulless act. It is strange to come across a funeral doom record that really hits you hard in such a short track length. Even the third ‘act’ (‘Pt II – ett avslut’) is only a mere 11 minutes. That 11 minutes is a roiling, torturous monolith however; full of sinister and unnerving moments. The howling vocals, clawing up from hell, drag you down.

The real beast here is the ‘bonus track’, ‘Monolith of Depression’ which at a titan 26 minutes takes up more than half of this EP. It is difficult to describe the journey this takes you on, so I’ll just use words that pop into my head during. Depression. Oppression. Weight. Crushing. Darkness. Finality. But also epic, sprawling and darkly beautiful. It is a perfect analogy for this record; evil, horrible but with a morbid delicacy that requires attention.

Eye of Solitude - Slaves to Solitude

The fifth full length from London’s Eye of Solitude continues their dark and miserable journey into the darkest parts of funeral doom. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is only five tracks, but stretches to almost an hour, so you know that there is some epic misery coming your way. This is out now

The monstrous, dirging ‘The Blind Earth’ draws us from our earthly homes and takes us by the hand into the gloom. Titan riffs crash through the murk, while powerful growls roar like a fell wind through your mind. It is so vast, so dense it is almost unbearably heavy upon your shoulders. ‘Still Descending’ is, somehow, even more morose and bleak. Occasionally piano notes and the clean vocals add melancholy and an air of the fragile. Cracks within a mighty wall, where the merest hints of the sadness underneath can show through.

Carving riffs from cyclopean cliffs, and drawing vocals from the deepest and most foul abysses, Eye of Solitude have created something magnificent here. ‘Slaves to Solitude’ is huge, depressing and an unbearable weight upon your psyche. Nothing should be this heavy, but somehow it is. The sound of mountains crumbling, tectonic plates rending, the voice of death itself. Stunning.


Australian funeral doom legends (yeah, I said it, LEGENDS!) Mournful Congregation are here to present their latest full length record, almost 6 years since the staggering ‘Book of Kings’. ‘The Incubus of Karma’ is yet another pillar on their majestic palace of misery and crushing depression, and reasserts them as the kings of funereal doom and sadness. It is out on the 23rd March through Osmose Productions.

I’ve never really been sure what pushes Mournful Congregation out in front when it comes to this genre. Yeah of course they have the massive riffs, dirging melodies and throat destroying growls. They also can handle acoustic sombreness, as the title track to their new record attests. But they have this intangible something that makes them so special. Shivers will run through you during the cyclopean ‘Whispering Spiritscapes’, which oozes with classic My Dying Bride-isms, while the ‘oncoming storm’ feeling of the titanic ‘Scripture of Exaltation and Punishment’ is both exhilarating and terrifying. Mournful Congregation have perfected the art of truly massive music; each riff is glacial in its icy vastness, each roar is voidspeak, each song is a journey.

At an hour and twenty minutes, this is not a record that flits past quickly. This is monstrous, addictive and utterly spellbinding. Mournful Congregation continue to build upon a legacy of essential albums; a gloomy shadow that covers all bands who seek to follow. They will forever remain atop this mountain, for they are the deathless kings of funeral doom.

Underworld of Khorrendus cover art

Mohraang is a one man Russian funeral doom set up, with a new record out at the start of September. It’s a self released effort, and like a lot of Russian metal at the moment, shows some potential to be as miserable as you would hope…

Divided into six parts, you can feel ‘Underworld of Khorrendus’ build slowly over that time, from the rumbling ominous ‘Part 1’ straight into the waves of oppressive misery of ‘Part 2’. Gloomy clean notes appear and fade again into the shroud that lurks upon this album. Dripping water is a sound that returns again and again, enhancing a feeling of damp, of mist and gloom. The morbid growl is infinite in its depth, the brutality of the tone is great. The churning crawl of ‘Part 3’ lurches into the gloom of ‘Part 4’, and then the titanic mourning ritual of ‘Part 5’ destroys any chance of light breaking through.

‘Underworld of Khorrendus’ is a monolithic slab of murky misery; a black coating of decay oozes over each crawling riff and each abyssal roar. When you’re burying any hopes you had of a good day under miserable weather or anything else in your pathetic lives, this darkness will be the soundtrack. Awe-inspiringly miserable stuff!